The outward appearance is that of an ordinary pair of pyjama trousers. However, to a child suffering from bed-wetting they may be the factor deciding whether or not the child will go to football camp or a sleep-over at a friend’s house.
– The alternatives for bed-wetting children are diapers, protective sheets or medicines with the risk of secondary effects. With our pyjama trousers, children need not worry. Parents will also notice a difference as they will only have to change the trousers instead of all of the bedclothes when an accident has happened, Torbjörn Gärdenfors explains, who owns Pjama AB together with Mårten Bernstad.
Together with for example Valter Dejke at Swerea IVF, they have done a lot of work involving for example choice of materials, function tests in labs and construction of the trousers.
– For us, Smart Textiles was a way to come in contact with an extensive network of expertise. We found the right company and textile expertise we did not have ourselves.
The basic pattern and the first prototype were made in the workshops at the Swedish School of Textiles. However, Torbjörn Gärdenfors does not want to disclose exactly how the trousers are constructed just yet.
– We have submitted a patent application and have had ideas for other products along the same lines.
At the moment, the process goes through a testing phase together with a child welfare centre in Ystad treating nocturnal enuresis, which is the medical term for bed-wetting. A number of the children have been selected to receive a pair of trousers for testing at home. So far, the results have been very positive.
– At first there were some instances of leakage at the waist, which we solved by making the trousers in three different sizes. However, all the children considered them very pleasant to wear. One family was so pleased that they did not want to return the trousers when the test period was over, Torbjörn Gärdefors says with a smile.
In addition to managing the testing phase, they also work on a coming webpage. They hope to be able to begin online sales of the trousers in the autumn of 2012.
– Our hopes is for the County Council to offer the trousers to children the same way they do with protective sheets today.
Nocturnal enuresis is bed-wetting during sleep for children over the age of five. The child receives treatment if the problems continue into the age of six. Nocturnal enuresis is caused by the lack of a hormone and is hereditary. 70 % of those suffering from nocturnal enuresis are boys and 30 % are girls. 1 % of the population of Sweden experience these kinds of problems throughout their lives.
Text and portrait photo: Therese Rosenblad
Photo: Henrik Bengtsson/Imaginara